Four Letter Nerd

Tag - Superheroes

Cubicle Decoration Guide

If you toil away in a cubicle a majority of the day, like many of us here at 4LN, then you know how monotonous the light gray/beige walls and off-white desks become after a while. It’s important for morale and for sanity to decorate your pod with some cool, nerd-themed, gear. Here are a few tips for decorating your cubicle so the time spent in your pod is not just more bearable, but more fun.

Find Things That Represents Your Interests

On a corner of the shelf in my cubicle I have an assortment of things that represent my nerd interests as well as my familial ties (a picture of my wife and son). A majority of the items in my nerd shrine involve either Star Wars or Superheroes, with a dash of Indiana Jones and Futurama thrown in for good measure.

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My Nerd Shrine

When you set out on your shrine-making adventure it’s important to define your interests, and once you determine that your interests are work-friendly (a must if you work for a company with human resources), it is time to go shopping. There are several websites out there that specialize in nerdery (my favorite being Thinkgeek), but you can also find your knick-knacks the old-fashioned way by going to brick-and-mortar stores or digging through your parents attic to find your old stuff they packed up there when you moved out. The only thing I specifically purchased for the shrine was my Bender action figure. The rest came from my collectables I had at home or were gifts.

Keep It Simple

Did you know that the average size of cubicle space has declined sharply over the past two decades?  In 1994, the average office automaton had over 90 square feet with which to mold their Cubicle of Solitude, which was a veritable mansion to the measly 25 square feet we have nowadays.

This means cubicle space is limited so you need to use a certain level of “strategery” and tact. You don’t want to be the guy who’s cubicle looks like a Spencer’s vomited up the clearance aisle. Nobody likes that guy.

Most of us would not be able to fund our nerd-habits without a sustainable income, so leave some room on your desk to actually get some work done.  There’s no need to have your nerd shrine take up your entire cubicle. I use about half of the shelf above my desk, and that’s plenty of space to show my interests while not warranting an appearance on Cubicle Hoarders.  The only thing memorabilia that is actually on my desk is R2-D2 with a pile of cash, because that cracks me up for some reason.

 

If Bill had a cubicle it would look like this

If Bill had a cubicle it would look like this

Conversation Starters

The more unique or rare the item the higher probability of people being drawn into conversation with you (conversation is not as bad as it sounds, unless you work primarily with jerks – if that’s the case just keep your head down and your eyes open for a new place of employment). This can lead to a closer set of work friends with similar interests, instead of just being individual automatons.  However, if you are not one for work friends or conversation you can always make sure your nerd shrine leans to the left of creepy.

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Pro – never sharing office supplies. Con – everyone thinks you are a sociopath

Sentimentality is a Plus

Occasionally work sucks, we’ve all been there. Some days seem to drag on slower than an Exogorth (Space Slug) trying to catch the Millennium Falcon. Having something that reminds you of a special time will help you get through those days that warp time. For me it’s a little Batsignal my wife got me for my 25th birthday, and my favorite picture of her and my son. It definitely helps take the edge off when you take a minute to reminisce and remember there is a place outside of your fabric wall panels.

office-space

Or you can just knock down your cubicle wall for that room with a view you always wanted.

And so, your quest for the perfect nerd shrine begins.  There will be tinkering – you will stumble, you will fall.  But in time, you will have a shrine that can be a beacon of hope in a choppy sea of fabric panels.  Browse Amazon and Thinkgeek.  Pull down the boxes of childhood treasures.  Find things that will make your life inside your pod something more than bearable.  Good luck.

From The Vault (Movie Review)- Super

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I need to admit, that I’m not the most up to date guy on all things nerdy. With having three small kids, I tend to find new things to fall in love with after they’ve been out for a couple of years. With that being said, over the last couple of days (yes, it takes me that long to get through a movie) I had the chance to finally jump on Netflix and check out a movie I’ve wanted to see for quite some time, Super starring Rainn Wilson. Super is the story about a somewhat schizophrenic (that’s not intentional, but when you watch the movie you’ll totally agree.) diner cook, named Frank D’arbo, who becomes “divinely inspired” to become a super hero after his wife leaves him for a local drug dealer.

 

The only expectations I had as I started this movie were two things; it was probably going to be funny, and that the poster reminded me a lot of the movie Kick-Ass. I consider myself a pretty dark humored guy, but this had more of that Quentin Tarintino violent comedy about it. That stuff is funny, but I didn’t find myself laughing out loud that often. There were some good laughs here and there, specifically a scene where Frank(Rainn Wilson) has a detective show up on his door and he imagines what might happen in the prison showers, but for the most part there is a very serious overtone about it. Let me be clear, I really liked this movie. While it may not have been the overly funny comedy I was expecting, I genuinely enjoyed the story line.

 

From the beginning scenes you follow Frank through the pain and confusion of his wife leaving. There’s not a ton of clarity as to why Sarah (played by Liv Tyler) left Frank, but it’s clear that the new man she is with Jacques (played by Kevin Bacon) is not completely a good guy. What I love most about this part of the film is the acting by Wilson. I’m so used to him playing the power hungry Dwight Shrute on the Office that I never thought about how good of an actor he really is. He captures the sapless and frustrated Frank D’arbo perfectly. After an outright begging session in the middle of the street with Sarah, Frank retreats to his home and finds himself watching a Christian super hero TV show, The Holy Avenger. The Holy Avenger is honestly one of the funnier parts of the movie, because let’s face it Christian TV is about as sincere as a naked clown. This is the beginning of Frank’s adventure into creating his pipe wrench slinging alter ego The Crimson Bolt.

 

I don’t want to sit here and go through the whole story line with you, so I won’t. I do want to mention that Ellen Paige is in this movie as a psychotic fan girl who becomes the sidekick to The Crimson Bolt known as Boltie. She nails this role. Her over excitement about fighting crime, being a super hero, and trying to be sexy in her costume, made me think of what every nerd would feel like if they took the leap of becoming a super hero.

 

I think that’s why I love this movie so much. It really did a great job of showing how an average, slightly mentally unstable, Joe can become a super hero. They did a great job of making it realistic. HBO did a documentary on real people who actually dress up to fight crime called Superheroes (which if you haven’t seen that you need to). Super could have been substituted in its place because of how realistic it felt. On the first night that the Crimson Bolt goes out to fight crime he sits behind a dumpster for hours with no luck. I don’t think you could portray real life, amateur, crime fighting any better. He hand sews a suit together, grabs a weapon, and goes out to hide in the shadows; only to find that there isn’t that much crime that goes on. Another thing was that his weapon, a pipe wrench, inflicted real damage. In most super hero movies there isn’t much blood. You usually see punches, kicks, super natural hammers to the face, without much physical damage being done in super hero flicks; in Super that is not the case. Every strike thrown by The Crimson Bolt inflicted real world damage and you kind of felt bad for the people it was happening to. After watching Super, you realize superheroes would have to be some kind of crazy to deal the punishment that they do.

 

There are a lot of great things about this movie and honestly I can’t cover them all, but luckily for you this movie is on Netflix right now and is totally worth a watch if you’re looking for an original hero story.